Relapse is a part of the disease of addiction. Treatment works, especially when it’s evidence-based, but, like many diseases, you can expect the disease to flare under stress or disease mismanagement periodically throughout life.
There are, however, some things we know that help patients stay on track after achieving short-term sobriety. One of those things is sober living homes.
What’s a Sober Living Home? Are They Allowed in Portland?
Sober living homes, also known as half-way houses or recovery residences, are group living facilities where newly sober individuals share a family-like atmosphere as they brave the first few months of recovery. Learning how to do life in recovery means relearning how to work, how to make friends, and how to deal with every part of your day-to-day life without using. This is a significant change in every aspect of a recovered person’s life, so it makes sense to take these bold steps in the company of fellow travelers, who can relate to the struggles and the triumphs of early recovery.
You can find sober living homes everywhere you find residential homes in Portland. Because Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is considered a disability and a protected class, entrepreneurs may open a sober living home anywhere residential family homes are allowed.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment?
MAT, or Medication Assisted Treatment, is one of the most highly researched treatments available for addiction today. As such, it is considered the “gold star” treatment for SUD, with the highest success rate of any treatment modality. Too many people still don’t know that there are tried and true medications that interrupt the disease process and bring lasting relief to patients who suffer from SUD.
At Shanti Wellness and Recovery, we offer treatment with Suboxone, buprenorphine and Vivitrol. Methadone, which we don’t administer, is another well-known form of MAT.
MAT medications interrupt the cycle of physical dependency, allowing the patient to place their focus on building strong recovery skills right away. Patients who take MAT medications experience fewer cravings, virtually zero withdrawal symptoms and fewer relapse episodes than people who opt for medication-free treatment plans. MAT medications are strongly associated with positive outcomes like: reduced mortality, steady employment, a more stable family life and improved housing security.
Finally, MAT medications have a long safety track record with one of the highest safety profiles of any pharmaceutical on the market today. Some forms of MAT have safety studies dating back to the 1940’s! Very few modern medications offer this level of certainty in terms of safety and efficacy.
If MAT is So Great, Then Why Would a Sober Living Home Ban MAT in Portland?
Some sober living homes across the country still ban residents from seeking MAT for their condition. The stigma against MAT comes from a misconception that MAT simply switches one addiction for another. This is absolutely false.
When taken as instructed by a doctor, MAT medications do not produce a “high” in the patient, nor do they cause negative substance-seeking behaviors or obsessions. In fact, many MAT medications block the patient’s ability to experience a “high” even when they do opt to use opioids or alcohol.
Why Are Some Portland Sober Living Homes Allowing MAT Patients Now?
Simply put, the stigma around MAT is beginning to wane in the addiction treatment and recovery community. As more and more patients opt for MAT, it has become clear to many in the recovery community that MAT saves lives. Most have begun to realize that MAT is fully compatible with other, more traditional treatment modalities like 12 step programs.
What Provisions Should Sober Living Homes Make for MAT Patients? What About Drug Testing?
MAT patients can fully participate in the life of a sober living home with a few small accommodations. There should be a provision for safe storage at the facility and medication management should be supervised by a sober living home manager, especially in the beginning stages of residency. If patients need to visit a clinic every day, as is the case with methadone, then provisions should be made for transportation. For the medications we prescribe at Shanti Wellness and Recovery, most patients only need to visit on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
MAT patients may participate in a randomized drug testing program without issue, as testing can easily differentiate between MAT medications and drugs of abuse.
Read More About MAT on Our Blog
Do You Need Help With Addiction in Portland? Are You Looking for Medication Assisted Treatment?
Good news – at Shanti Wellness and Recovery, we work with you to tailor treatment plans to your situation, your goals and your life. Everything we do is evidence based and shame-free.
Depending on the patient, we can offer MAT medication, nutritional therapy and/or talk therapy in a cozy, family clinic setting. We love to see patients like you succeed and thrive.
Interested to learn more about how we can help? Give us a call today to begin your journey to freedom from addiction!